Monday, March 30, 2015

I'm watching George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Diana Rigg stars as Countes Teresa "Tracy" Di Vicenzo, daughter of crime syndicate boss Marc-Ange Draco. Bond is in pursuit of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas), who has taken up residence at a mountaintop "hospital" in Switzerland. SPECTRE is brainwashing beautiful young women, who will travel the globe and unleash a massive biological attack on the planet if SPECTRE is not paid off. Bond falls in love with Tracy, and together they end Blofeld's plan.

The film is notorious for being Lazenby's only appearance as Bond. He was notoriously wooden, and fans reacted negatively to him. Lazenby was offered a seven-film deal as Bond, but turned it down because he thought spies and secret agents would be passé in the 1970s. The film also kind of foolishly tries to be "hip" and "cool" and "with it". It was, after all, 1969, and the Flower Power and hippie movements were going strong. Bond had famously declared The Beatles to be nothing more than noise in Goldfinger in 1964; suddenly, he was wearing a ruffled cravat and "talking jive" and living in a room with hippie décor. It was appalling.

The film famously has Bond getting married. As he and Tracy park by the side of the road to clean flowers off their wedding car, he tells Tracy that they have "all the time in the world." At the end of the film, Blofeld and Blofeld's wife, Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat), drive past Bond's car. Bunt takes potshots at Bond's car with a machine-gun, and kills Tracy. Bond holds his dead wife in his arms and weeps, whispering his final words to her.

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SHOCKINGLY, there's a particularly gruesome moment in the film. Bond has been bested by some of SPECTRE's agents while in Bern, Switzerland. Frightened for his life, he flees through the nightly winter carnival. Tracy unexpectedly encounters him, and drives him off. They are attacked by cars driven by SPECTRE agents, and manage to escape via a demolition derby. Fleeing through the snowy mountains near Bern, their car breaks down. They take refuge in an abandoned but warm horse stable.

SPECTRE's agents discover them the next day, and Bond and Tracy flee on skis down the mountainside.

Bond sees a snowplow digging a deep trench through 15 feet of snow. He and Tracy leap over it. The next SPECTRE agent is caught in the snow being jetted from the plow. He falls in front of the snow plow, whose rotors quickly chop up his body.

The next shot is of the blood-filled snow, including several body parts and some torn clothes, gushing into the air. The following shot is of the bloody, intestine-filled snow falling in an arc onto the snow above the trench.

Bond cold-bloodedly says, "Well, he had guts."

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